How To Remove Rust From Grill Grates?

When it comes to grilling, there is nothing more important than the quality of your grill’s cooking surface. With a rusty grate, not only will your food taste bad, but you’ll also have to keep an eye on the fire as it could flare up. Fortunately for all BBQ enthusiasts out there who love to cook outside on their grills, we’ve got some tips to help you know how to remove rust from grill grates.

One of the most appealing things about summer is firing up that barbecue and cooking some delicious food on the grill. However, one thing we don’t love about that process is when bits of food stick onto those rusty old grates. Luckily, it’s not hard at all to get rid of that pesky rust before it gets worse!

How To Remove Rust From Grill Grates?

Removing rust from your grill grates is an important step in the maintenance of your BBQ. This will help to prevent any food from sticking and make it easier to clean up afterward. 

Let’s discuss some time-proven ways to get rid of any rust formation on your grill grates. 

Combination of Baking Soda and Vinegar

One of the easiest ways is to use baking soda and vinegar as a gentle abrasive cleaner. You will need an oven-safe dish (glass or metal), kitchen towel, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and, of course, a grill with rusty grates.

Step One

Remove the grates from your grill and place them on a towel to avoid any scratches that could occur during cleaning with baking soda or vinegar.

Step Two

Mix one cup of baking soda and two cups of distilled white vinegar. The mixture should be about the consistency of thick pancake batter or runny yogurt. If it is too thin, add more baking soda; if it’s too thick, add some vinegar.

Step Three

Pour the mixture on one side of the grates and scrub. This should help remove any rust or corrosion that is present on your cooking surface.

Step Four

Rinse with warm water and wash again with baking soda and vinegar to ensure all residue has been removed.

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With the Help of Salt and Vinegar

As the name suggests, salt is a common ingredient used in many household jobs. It is known to have anti-corrosion properties and also can help remove rust from grates. And if you mix it with vinegar, well then that’s just a bonus! Vinegar is acidic in nature which will clean as well as remove rust.

To make the mixture, take a cup of salt and mix it with one quart of vinegar in a bowl or container. Apply this solution to your grill grates using an old brush (or something similar) and scrub vigorously for at least five minutes. You will notice that after about 20-30 minutes some corrosion will start to come off.

If this doesn’t work the first time, try it again, and then rinse with water to remove any remaining salt or vinegar from your grill grates. If you want an added boost for cleaning your cooking surfaces, mix in a few tablespoons of baking soda to help get rid of even more rust and corrosion!

Salt, Vinegar, and Sugar Together Work Wonders

It is one of the most effective ways to get rid of gentle rust on your cooking grates. The method utilizes less time to get the job done without involving any hassles. 

What You Will Need

  • One cup of white sugar or brown sugar
  • Two cups of vinegar
  • One tablespoon of salt
  • Half cup boiling water or as needed (in case the solution needs to be boiled)
  • Pot or container to boil the solution in
  • Paper towels and a sponge for cleaning

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Here’s what you are going to do!

  1. Boil the solution in a pot or container and keep it to one side.
  2. Take paper towels, and dip them into the boiling mixture. Clean the surface of the grill grate with this.
  3. After cleaning, wipe off any leftover debris on the grill using a sponge or paper towel dipped in the boiling solution.
  4. Then, fill a bowl with water and vinegar.
  5. Take paper towels or rags dipped in this mixture and rub them on the surface of the grill grate.
  6. If you still see any rust or corrosion, repeat this process again and then scrub with a sponge.
  7. After scrubbing, wipe off the grill grate with a paper towel dipped in water and vinegar solution.
  8. Rinse the grill grate with clean water.
  9. Dry the grates.
  10. Coat them in cooking oil or spray on a nonstick coating to prevent rust and corrosion from forming again.

This process can be repeated to remove any leftover rust on the grill grates

Note: When boiling the solution, it is important to remember that you need enough boiling water or as needed.

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Use of Commercial Rust Remover

If any of the above mentioned methods do not work for you, it’s time to use commercial rust remover to get the job done flawlessly. 

If you want to remove rust and corrosion from your cooking grates with the help of a commercial product, you should use one that is specially designed to do so. You can find such products in most grocery stores and hardware shops, but make sure that you carefully read the product labels before you buy. 

There are several different types of such products, so make sure that the one that you choose is suitable for your specific needs.

First of all, take the grill grates off your barbecue and spread them out so that they are not touching each other. Then you need to follow the instructions on the product label carefully. 

This is because different types of products require you to do things like spray them onto the grill grates, brush them on, or soak the grill grates in a bathtub.

Make sure that you read all of these instructions before you start any of the procedures. Failure to do so might lead to you damaging your grill grates or making them worse than they were before in terms of rust and corrosion. 

However, if you follow the instructions carefully, though, then your grill grates should soon be as good as new and rust-free.

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Tips for Preventing Rust on BBQ Grill Grates

The following are some tips that can help you prevent rust from forming on the grill grates.

  • The first step to take is to clean the cooking grates of your grill before and after each use.
  • You can also apply a thin coating of oil or grease to prevent the grates from rusting.
  • Try not to cook food that creates a lot of liquid, as this can cause rust to form on the grates.
  • You should season your grill before using it for the first time.
  • It is also best to avoid cooking acidic foods on grill grates that have not been properly cleaned. Acidic food will create more rust and corrosion, so it is best to clean the grates before cooking these types of food.


This article has been written for those who want to learn how they can get rid of rust and corrosion from the grill grates on their barbecue grill. The article discusses in detail the different ways one can get rid of rust and corrosion from grill grates as well as how to remove them using a commercial product.

At the end of this post, I hope you find it interesting and helpful! Thank you for reading!

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